Jim Goodwin has seen some of his St Mirren imports perk up on discovering how close they are to a Hampden trip.
Goodwin knows Saints face a tough task against Motherwell on Saturday after losing five goals without reply in two games against the Steelmen this season.
But St Mirren’s League Cup-winning captain has given his new players a lift by telling them they will be 90 minutes from Hampden if they win.
Goodwin, who has lost Ryan Flynn to a cruciate ligament injury, said: “You try to explain to some of the new lads, the English boys and foreign boys and the boys over from Ireland, that you are very, very close to getting a day out at Hampden.
“If you’re down in England, the boys who come up from League One or League Two, to get to a semi-final of the FA Cup is a long, long process.
“Up here, you win two or three games and all of a sudden you find yourself going to the national stadium.
“I think the boys were slightly surprised by that when they hear it but it also perks them up to think they only have to win a couple of games to get that day out in a semi-final.
“Don’t get me wrong, we are not thinking too far ahead, we know the magnitude of the task on Saturday, but it’s important to have that incentive there.
“You see the path Hearts had last year. They got all the way to the final and played one Premiership team. If the draw is kind to you and you get good performances, then any team is capable of getting there.”
Goodwin added: “I have experienced that here as a player and the people of Paisley really get behind you. It would be great to give the fans that kind of trip again.
“We have been there in 2013 in the League Cup where nobody gives you a hope in hell. There is no pressure on a club like ours.
“All the pressure is on the old Firm and Aberdeen and the Edinburgh clubs because of that level of expectation.
“But I feel we are capable of beating anybody on any given day and if we get things right on Saturday, we give ourselves a great chance.”
Goodwin was not disappointed to see Motherwell sell James Scott to Hull on deadline day after the forward hit three stylish goals against his team this season.
“I played a big part in it as well, by the way,” Goodwin said. “My two ex-Scunthorpe team-mates, Grant McCann and Cliffy Byrne, are the management team at Hull so when Cliffy had asked me my opinion, I made Scott sound like Messi knowing we had this game coming up.
“No, listen, I gave an honest assessment. He is a terrific player, a great player for Scotland to have in the ranks. I hope he does really, really well and I know Motherwell got a fantastic fee.
“Of course we are delighted he is not going to be there but we have to respect all the players who are still there and can cause us problems.”